North Korea targeted cybersecurity researchers using a blend of hacking and espionage

Sophisticated fake social media personas created by North Korean hackers offered to collaborate with cybersecurity researchers. Several US researchers fell for it.

Paulo Shakarian, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Arizona State University • conversation
Feb. 4, 2021 ~7 min

Facebook can actually boost older adults’ well-being

Older adults who post more pictures to Facebook feel more competent about their social media use, which can in turn boost their feelings of well-being.

Matthew Swayne-Penn State • futurity
Feb. 1, 2021 ~7 min

COVID-19 misinformation on Chinese social media – lessons for countering conspiracy theories

The type and amount of misinformation closely tracks tensions in US-China relations. Effectively countering the misinformation comes down to who does the debunking.

Kaiping Chen, Assistant Professor of Science Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison • conversation
Jan. 28, 2021 ~8 min

Kamala Harris abuse campaign shows how trolls evade social media moderation

New research suggests tech firms need to improve how they detect abuse in response to the evolving use of coded language.

Alexandra Pavliuc, PhD Candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford • conversation
Jan. 25, 2021 ~7 min

Far-right groups move to messaging apps as tech companies crack down on extremist social media

Encrypted messaging services like Telegram provide virtual dark corners where far-right extremists can recruit, organize and plan unhindered.

Kevin Grisham, Professor of Global Studies, California State University San Bernardino • conversation
Jan. 22, 2021 ~8 min

How law enforcement is using technology to track down people who attacked the US Capitol building

Facial recognition, social media and location tracking give law enforcement a leg up in a monumental investigation.

James Byrne, Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell • conversation
Jan. 20, 2021 ~9 min

Does 'deplatforming' work to curb hate speech and calls for violence? 3 experts in online communications weigh in

Banning extremists from social media platforms can reduce hate speech, but the deplatforming process has to be handled with care – and it can have unintended consequences.

Ugochukwu Etudo, Assistant Professor of Operations and Information Management, University of Connecticut • conversation
Jan. 15, 2021 ~10 min

Expert decodes Trump talk, Q codes, and road to insurrection

The co-editor of a book on Trump's language deciphers the "foreboding, apocalyptic" language that preceded the January 6 breach of the Capitol.

Jarret Bencks-Brandeis • futurity
Jan. 14, 2021 ~11 min

Trump's Twitter ban obscures the real problem: state-backed manipulation is rampant on social media

Social media censorship in the US fails to tackle the rising trend of ‘disinformation-for-hire’ cyber troops.

Hannah Bailey, PhD researcher in Social Data Science, University of Oxford • conversation
Jan. 13, 2021 ~7 min

Some kindergartners are more likely to be heavy users of online tech later, according to new research

Too much screen time doesn't leave enough time for other important parts of growing up. Predicting which little kids will likely grow into heavy tech users could help target educational campaigns.

Paul L. Morgan, Eberly Fellow, Professor Education and Demography, and Director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research, Penn State • conversation
Jan. 12, 2021 ~7 min